In the following text, I invite you to consider how the sacred shows up in our everyday lives through the contemplative practice known as daily examen.
While its roots of this practice are in the Ignatian Christian tradition,
its wisdom stretches far and wide across traditions and theologies. You may use these reflection questions as journaling prompts or simply reflect on them. You can also find a video version of this guided meditation HERE.
Let’s experiment with this practice together to discover what wisdom it may offer us today.
So, to begin, Perhaps you’d like take a look around – take in your surroundings
Move your body gently — wiggle your fingers and toes
And, if it feels right, close your eyes to let yourself turn inward.
Bring your focus to your breath, moving in and out.
And as we rest our awareness on our breathing, we ask ourselves:
What do we need to take in today?
What do we need to let go of?
And next we shift our attention to gratitude —
gratitude for this moment, for the miracle of being alive. What are you feeling moved to give thanks for right now?
Now, In your mind’s eye, look back at the last 24 hours — the events of yesterday, and the hours of today so far.
Take a moment to find the experiences — Yesterday morning, the afternoon, Before bed, and this morning. Where were you? Who were you with? Where was your attention, your energy focused?
If it takes a while to locate, that’s ok, offer yourself patience and compassion.
And now, with the language that feels most authentic, ask yourself this:
When did you feel most connected with Spirit?
Most fully alive?
Where was God in this day?
Gather together the images, the feelings. If you’d like, feel free to jot them down.
Next, we reflect on our lives from another angle:
When did you feel disconnected from the flow of life?
When did you feel most distant from Spirit? From God? From your best self?
Gather together the images, the feelings, and hold them with compassion.
Next, we ask ourselves with honesty and kindness: Is there anywhere we wish to make amends in our lives? Do we need to return to something left undone?
This is a time where we can set our intentions for the day, knowing that the work of loving and living is never done, and repair and forgiveness — of ourselves and others –is deeply healing.
As we turn our hearts and energies towards the day ahead,
Mindful of our recent learnings and experiences
Holding our intentions
Practicing forgiveness of ourselves and others,
We begin again in love
In this present moment
Here, now, in this body, in this life
Knowing ourselves loving….and beloved
Connected to the family of all humanity
And the vast interconnected web of all creation
We belong, we are beloved, we are beautiful